Types of discrimination (protected characteristics)
It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:
- gender reassignment,
- being married or in a civil partnership,
- being pregnant or on maternity leave,
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin,
- religion or belief,
- sexual orientation.
These are called protected characteristics.
You are protected from discrimination:
- at work,
- in education,
- as a consumer,
- when using public services,
- when buying or renting property,
- as a member or guest of a private club or association.
You are legally protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.
You are also protected from discrimination if:
- you are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend,
- you have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim.
Action against discrimination
You can do something voluntarily to help people with a protected characteristic. This is called positive action.
Taking positive action is legal if people with a protected characteristic:
- are at a disadvantage,
- have particular needs,
- are under-represented in an activity or type of work.